Hugh Jackman on Les Misérables, Life, Friends and Family
Starring in “Les Misérables,” opposite a stellar cast including Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, Hugh Jackman is a frontrunner for an Oscar for his role as Jean Valjean.
You probably know Hugh Jackman for his leading role as “Wolverine” in the “X-Men” film series. You may also recognize him for his role in “Real Steel.” Or perhaps, you’ll recall how he was dubbed the “sexiest man alive” by People Magazine in 2008. And now, in “Les Misérables,” the word around town is that his performance in the role of “Jean Valjean” has made him the shoe-in for an Oscar!
Jackman underwent an incredible transformation for his role. The change was so dramatic that his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, gasped when she first saw the him in character.
Equally striking is the contrast between his on-screen rivalry with Russell Crowe and their off-screen reality. In real life, they’re really good friends. “Russell and I have been friends for a long time. I owe a lot to Russell in many ways,” Jackman explained, pointing to Russell Crowe’s decision to turn down the role of Wolverine. In fact, he even recommend Jackman to the director. Jackman shared, “I have asked his advice on several occasions and he’s always been generous to me and a good friend. This is the first time I got to work with him though.”
In fact, Jackman has plenty to say on Russell’s legendary cast parties. “If you ever get invited, take a song with you because you are singing. Everybody sings. He brings out his guitar and he loves it. The hardest thing is leaving because when you are at Russell’s parties, it’s always great fun,” Jackman said.
While he’s generous with his compliments, Jackman isn’t afraid to admit his faults and past mistakes. “As Russell just reminded me, I’m very bad at saying ‘no’ to my wife. I am a double booker. I am indecisive. I am a terrible handyman. And I can be incredibly vague,” he joked, adding, “I’m an actor, don’t trust an actor.” Perhaps this is a reference to a sticky-fingers incident from his childhood. “I would have gone to jail for nineteen years! It was a pack of Chickadees. I was very hungry and I certainly wasn’t starving like in this movie, but I was very hungry and I said, ‘Oh, I want something to eat!’ And my brother said, ‘Well let’s go to the shop’ and I said, ‘I don’t have any money.’ And he goes, ‘You don’t need money.’ He was a bad influence. I was led astray,” he admitted. Like most child thieves, he was caught. “Busted and belted. That’s how it was back then, but I wasn’t punished for nineteen years,” he laughs, making a reference to the Les Mis storyline.